Monday, March 13, 2006
Moon over Womadelaide
As I've noted before, binoculars are pretty good buys. Not are they a handy portable astronomical tool, they can be used to do bird and whale watching, as well as desperately trying to see any of the acts at Womadelaide through a sea of heads. Womadelaide is one of the site or the Womad series of World Music Festivals. The Bettdeckererschnapender weisle and I are folk music buffs from way back, we met at a folk/acoustic music venue and were volunteers at the Port Fairy Folk Music festival for many years BC (Before Children).
Womadelaide is an excellent Festival, and has the advantage of being in the heart of our adopted city, rather than 8 hours drive away (which is how long it now takes us to get to Port fairy). Womadelaide is held in Botanic park, which is a great location with stages nestled into giant Morton Bay figs with tortuous rootts. It runs three days and nights. The Saturday was a bit intense, with temperatures rising to 37 degrees C. We spent large amounts of time huddled under the trees in a shrinking patch of shade listening to some amazing acts such as The Saltwater Band from Elco Island in NT (managed by a friend of ours) and La Bottine Souriante (The Smiling Boot) an amazing French Canadian group whose percussion is provided by tapdancing (that may sound stupid, but it was amazingly effective, and was one of our favorite groups). In the evening, it cooled down to a frigid 25 Degrees C, and I watch the Moon rise over Womadelaide, and the stars come out, to the accompanyment of some terrific music. Almost literally 'Music of the Spheres".
There was some truly inspirational music as well. The Golden Pride children's Choir is a group of children from rural villages in Tanzania, who have amazing voices and do beautiful acappella music. They have raised the money to come to Womadelaide themselves, and any profit from their tour goes to building a high school for their community. And if you but their CD from their website, you will be contributing to their community school as well.
Sunday couldn't have contrasted more with Saturday, it rained. Now we had to compete with umbrellas as well as heads. We still huddled under the same trees, but trying to avoid soaking instead of heat stroke. Still were saw some amazing things, including a massive percussion jam lead by Johnny Kalsi of the Dhol Foundation and featuring the fantastic Singaporean percussion ensemble Wicked Aura Batucada. We came home sodden but happy.